Nietzsche x Peter Carroll

Nietzsche may be considered one of our prophets …

— Magick Without Tears, ch. 48

Aleister Crowley decided to follow in the footsteps of Elisabeth Förster-Nietzsche and sought to sacralize Nietzsche as a Gnostic mystic, a kind of avatar of Thoth, the Egyptian God of wisdom. But this does not interest us within the scope of this article, since our focus today is on Chaos Magick.

One must still have chaos in oneself to be able to give birth to a dancing star.

— Friedrich Nietzsche in Thus Spoke Zarathustra.

Zarathustra, in this case the character of Nietzsche based on the historical prophet, speaks to everyone and to no one. He is a master of language and goes out to dialogue about philosophy. His play on words is often sarcastic and contradictory. He poses as a mystic, but his cosmological dialogues are not subjugated by metaphysics.

It is precisely in the Chaos of Zarathustra that Carroll approaches Nietzsche, both based on Greco-Roman mythology. For Caroll, Chaos can be considered the primary force, whereas for Nietzsche it has to do with the Will of Power. In both cases, Chaos is expansion and creation.

The Will of Power

The concept of Will in Nietzsche has nothing to do with any will from which the world would have originated, but rather with the expansion of life. And here, like Caroll, Nietzsche includes everything from inanimate matter to organic and consciousness.

Both Caroll and Nietzsche are amoral, that is, they do not bother to establish laws or guidelines as truths. It is here that Nietzsche and Caroll depart from Thelema, for both are much more concerned with deconstructing morality and creating ethical principles than establishing some kind of law.

Both Nietzsche and Caroll understand that religion, in general, is a project to camouflage suffering, to domesticate humanity. This project is contrary to the Will to Power, as it is geared towards the degeneracy of life and not its expansion.

Belief as an instrument

Carroll departs from Nietzsche in two points. First, it does not concern himself with just how to break the paradigms, expose its contradictions and limitations, but rather to point out the benefit of using each one of them as a source of Power, not necessarily clinging to it.

This becomes very noticeable when Caroll bends over the zeitgeist of each Aeon, exposing the most diverse beliefs and their utilities. Like Nietzsche, Caroll chuckles to the absolute truths. But unlike Nietzsche, he does not reject them as an instrument.

The second point in which they diverge is the question of dualism. Especially in Liber Null and Psychonaut, Caroll presents the dualism to systematize his thinking. Nietzsche abhors any kind of dualism, giving preference to a holistic view of life and death.

The breakdown of authority

Both Nietzsche and Caroll despise authority in the sense that it degenerates life, preventing the Will of Power from acting. Thus Spoke Zarathustra, therefore, also breaks paradigms:

“The work is a compliment to solitude, to free thought, to communion with the superior, to union with a god who is not the traditional God of religion, but man himself, sublimated by good, by reason, by his very essence that allows the eternal return and reaches its perfection in the coexistence with the nature, perfection that causes it to create continuously, to live in an intense and transparent way of life, to surpass itself and to project itself to the high and the beyond . Beyond its ties with selfishness and with all the values established by the rulers, in addition to the coexistence the consensual reality of the masses, beyond its august limits.”

— Ciro Mioranza

Caroll and Nietzsche are free thinkers, averse to any kind of philosophical absolutism. They are joyful, contradictory, timeless, although they remain, in many aspects, reflective of their respective contemporary.

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